Angry Birds With FLIR
October 18, 2011 12:28 PM   Subscribe

"We finally flew our first thermal camera flight yesterday afternoon. About 10 seconds after launch my co pilot looked at the screen and said something like, 'We now have our very own predator drone'" A rice farmer in Louisiana had a real problem, feral pigs were coming out of the woods at night, into the rice fields, tearing up his crops and causing thousands of dollars worth of damage. The only solution is to bring in hunters to shoot the pigs. Hunting feral pigs in waist high rice plants, in the dead of night, is very difficult. You have to be within 10 feet of them to shoot them and it can take hours to stalk them down. So the farmer calls his brother, an Electronic Warfare engineer who flies RC airplanes as a hobby. $5000 worth of electronics, including a $4500 infrared camera, are installed on a $80 model airplane, and the Dehogaflier is born!
posted by smoothvirus (52 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
His wife is hot.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:31 PM on October 18, 2011 [84 favorites]


Faint of Butt, I'd favorite that comment a lot more if I could.
posted by cheeken at 12:33 PM on October 18, 2011


I would pay 20 dollars to remotely fly that thing.
posted by Ayn Rand and God at 12:36 PM on October 18, 2011


"dehogaflier." Hate the game, love the player.
posted by nevercalm at 12:39 PM on October 18, 2011


The only solution is to bring in hunters to shoot the pigs.

NatGeo recently addressed this in an episode of Invaders about millions of feral pigs in Australia. Other solutions included electrified fences and baited traps. Not an easy task, regardless of the methods used.
posted by vidur at 12:40 PM on October 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Watching that video, I keept expecting to see gunfire strafing out to blow up the unsuspecting pig below.

I was disappointed to learn that the Dehogaflier is only the assistive technology, and not the "predator drone" it was claimed to be.

tl;dr: Where be them guns?
posted by cheeken at 12:43 PM on October 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


Nevar forget: Ian Frazier's awesome article about Wild Hogs.

Also: this could be improved slightly if attached to a quad or octo-copter, though I don't know the difference in sound between the plane and the copter. The more quiet the better, obviously.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 12:43 PM on October 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


"Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend."

We have infiltrated the enemy and squashed the revolution.
posted by bondcliff at 12:46 PM on October 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


I suspect quad-copters don't have nearly the flight time of an RC plane.
posted by leotrotsky at 12:47 PM on October 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


This makes me want to build a plane you can fly remotely over the internet.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 12:48 PM on October 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I suspect quad-copters don't have nearly the flight time of an RC plane.

Hmm, because the copters run on battery and the RC planes run on gas? Surely one could further hillbilly engineer the quad-copter to run for longer. Or, use the RC plane as a constant scout, then send the quad-copter in for precise tracking. Yeah. Your time is up, hogs!
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 12:50 PM on October 18, 2011


What that thing needs is look down/shoot down.

These hogs, are they good eatin'?

And also, I bet the high school kids stop partying in Farmer Jones's field.
posted by stargell at 12:50 PM on October 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


I applaud what this guy and his brother are doing -- this is all kinds of awesome.

Actually flying this thing at night using the feed from the camera must be really fucking hard to do. I know he mentions this in his build thread, but...damn. That's impressive. Especially since this is not some cheap toy whose loss you can shrug off if you drown it in a pond.
posted by mosk at 12:51 PM on October 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


(Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates: "Hmm, because the copters run on battery and the RC planes run on gas? Surely one could further hillbilly engineer the quad-copter to run for longer. Or, use the RC plane as a constant scout, then send the quad-copter in for precise tracking. Yeah. Your time is up, hogs!"

Evangelion-style power cords.
posted by mkb at 12:53 PM on October 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


His civilian Predator drone matches his civilian M-16 (looks like he's posing with an AR-15 in the dead pig link). Kind of smacks of playing dress-up a bit, but I'm sure it was fun.
posted by nathancaswell at 12:54 PM on October 18, 2011


Hmm, because the copters run on battery and the RC planes run on gas?

These days about 50% of the RC planes out there run on batteries, and the number increases every year. A quad has four motors, whereas most planes only have one motor. Also, planes can glide, quads cant.
posted by smoothvirus at 12:55 PM on October 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Someone needs to tell Jonathan McGowan about this.
posted by cheeken at 12:57 PM on October 18, 2011


I'm busy at work. Can someone please just tell me what link has the video where they find a pig at night with the plan, move in where their assault rifles and kill it?
posted by gagglezoomer at 12:58 PM on October 18, 2011


This plane is electric. You can see the charge meter in the lower left corner of the HUD in the first video.
posted by 7segment at 12:59 PM on October 18, 2011


Angry Birds With FLIR

Please, please, please tell me that the drone crashes into the pigs... And that subsequent versions will have things like an afterburner or the ability to split apart like a MIRV.

And that the pigs get armored forts to hide in.

This could be the greatest live action game of all time.
posted by quin at 1:01 PM on October 18, 2011 [9 favorites]


I like this idea. And it's totally legal!
posted by CancerMan at 1:06 PM on October 18, 2011


Quin: Add sheep to the mix and we're halfway to real-life Worms. Which I'm pretty sure would be the culminating achievement of western civilization.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:08 PM on October 18, 2011


I like this idea. And it's totally legal!

"Outlaw quadrupeds" is an awesome term.
posted by stargell at 1:17 PM on October 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend."

Four legs good, two legs badass.
posted by AzraelBrown at 1:21 PM on October 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


I like this idea. And it's totally legal!

I wanted that URL to be wtf.lousiana.gov so much.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:24 PM on October 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Why? Why aren't those bastard nutria on that outlaw list?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 1:33 PM on October 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure but I think this might be from a guy that posts regularly on somethingawful's boards. If it is I believe that for some time he was hunting these hogs on foot, at night with a boar spear because they had gotten too wary of hunters.
posted by concreteforest at 2:05 PM on October 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


In a week when four opportunities for hog hunting have arisen after a decade of having none, I have mixed feelings about this.
Hurray for taking out individual animals from a nasty invasive species.
Boo on the fact that, soon, people like me won't be able to go out hunting for them any more (you know . . . as soon as these fellas figure out how to put a rifle onto a flying platform and target it).

What pisses me off the most is that Louisiana puts coyotes on the same list as feral pigs, basically shoot on sight. I love me some coyotes. Beautiful animals. And great singers.
And on preview, yeah, why aren't nutria on that list?
posted by Seamus at 2:22 PM on October 18, 2011


Why aren't those bastard nutria on that outlaw list?

They are included in the night hunting section.
posted by Mitheral at 2:25 PM on October 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


These hogs, are they good eatin'?

http://invasivore.org/tag/feral-pig/
posted by vidur at 3:15 PM on October 18, 2011


"Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend food."
posted by porpoise at 3:19 PM on October 18, 2011


This what John Robb means when talking about super empowered individuals.
posted by Scoo at 3:24 PM on October 18, 2011


Sarah Palin would like one of these.
posted by caddis at 3:37 PM on October 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is pretty impressive, thanks for posting.

Michael Pollan describes killing a wild pig and serving it to friends in "The Omnivore's Dilemma". I seem to remember that it went over well. I would like to try it anyway.

Vidur - that is a great website, no idea how I never heard of it before. I especially like the woman's face in this picture.
posted by Horatius at 3:38 PM on October 18, 2011


Coming soon, to a Free Speech Zone near you....
posted by digitalprimate at 4:15 PM on October 18, 2011


(also they totally ripped off the climax of Gibson's last novel there)
posted by digitalprimate at 4:16 PM on October 18, 2011


This is indeed the fellow from SA that hunts feral pigs, at night, armed with a spear.
posted by Sternmeyer at 4:31 PM on October 18, 2011


I'm not sure but I think this might be from a guy that posts regularly on somethingawful's boards.

Yep, same guy.
posted by mrbill at 4:43 PM on October 18, 2011


I worked in a National Park for a while, and there was a crew whose sole purpose was to go out in the woods and kill hogs. They would hike into some hog hotspot in the mountains late in the day and find a place to wait, and then sit quietly in the dark for hours, waiting for the hogs to make their way to the spot. Then, with them grunting around in the dark feeding, the hunter would flip on the lights and start shooting.

When they told me about this I just imagined the peaceful quiet snuffling followed by bright lights, muzzle flash, blood and screaming hogs. How surreal would that be for a job?
posted by Red Loop at 5:28 PM on October 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


How big a of zeppelin would you need to support a camera?
posted by user92371 at 5:46 PM on October 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Huh, user92371, that's a really good suggestion. If a RC airplane can carry the FLIR, it wouldn't take very much helium to get it up (tether the rig to keep it from drifting away). The battery power to run smaller propellers to keep it stationary/pointed-in-a-constant-direction would last a lot longer than in a RC plane.

It's like having your own local satellite for theater surveillance, exactly one of the reasons airships were deployed.

It's not like feral pigs have incendiary bullets or artillery to shoot your balloon down.

Sure, it's more fun to fly the RC plane around than to keep a balloon stationary and pointed in the same direction, but an Electronic Warfare engineer ought to be able to write some code to do this automatically. Also, the risks of the balloon crashing is a lot less than that of an RC plane.
posted by porpoise at 6:31 PM on October 18, 2011


I wonder what vegetarians have to say about this.
posted by palbo at 7:21 PM on October 18, 2011


It's not like feral pigs have incendiary bullets or artillery to shoot your balloon down.

Well now.. what can we do about that?
posted by coriolisdave at 7:28 PM on October 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hello porpoise.
That code is already out there, look at the growth of it's cousin, facial recognition software. Heck, these days you can rerender the environment and color the pig red.
But where,s the fun in that? I salute the gutbucket engineering with a good old fashioned man firing gun finish. Kill them tasty invasive pigs.
Not to mention the COTS (consumer off-the-shelf) hardware. Welcome to the future...
posted by djrock3k at 8:42 PM on October 18, 2011


this could be improved slightly if attached to a quad or octo-copter, though I don't know the difference in sound between the plane and the copter.

Other things being equal, the fixed-wing plane will be more power-efficient and quieter than the copter. (Simplistically: because the wing sweeps through more air. To get a given amount of momentum transfer, moving more air slowly takes less energy than moving less air faster; the extra energy goes into turbulence and heat and noise.)

How big a of zeppelin would you need to support a camera?

Camera ~400g, from FLIR's website; ~1 gram lift per liter of helium, that's a balloon a few feet across. Add a bunch for the power and stationkeeping and PTZ and so on, of course.

Also, the risks of the balloon crashing is a lot less than that of an RC plane.

Only in still air!
posted by hattifattener at 8:53 PM on October 18, 2011


Ever since the Sarah Palin campaign I've wanted to gun down wolves from a helicopter. I imagined some form of LA Machineguns style lightgun, but maybe they could remotely pilot them for real....
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 11:39 PM on October 18, 2011


Plane that can be flown remotely over the internet.
posted by TheKM at 3:07 AM on October 19, 2011


Perhaps I should've written "plane that can be flown over the internet remotely."
posted by TheKM at 3:11 AM on October 19, 2011


Yes, what does the internet look like from the air?
posted by pracowity at 4:22 AM on October 19, 2011


Yes, what does the internet look like from the air?

I imagine it as a trollface-shaped crop circle.
posted by jklaiho at 7:28 AM on October 19, 2011


I wonder what vegetarians have to say about this.

This is pretty bad ass.
posted by gordie at 8:09 AM on October 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Perhaps I should've written "plane that can be flown over the internet remotely."

Depends on what you meant. Do you mean an aircraft that can be operated by someone in a distant location via an internet connection or one that can vaguely fly over a server farm, because that pretty much includes all of them.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 8:28 AM on October 19, 2011


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